Autonomous Driving Tech Designed for Russian Conditions

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Autonomous vehicle technology is currently being tested around the globe — with the U.S., Western Europe, and Japan being some of the leading hotspots with high-profile demonstrations of the autonomous vehicles.

Russia is also contributing to the self-driving research and demonstrations. Moscow-based Cognitive Technologies has developed autonomous vehicle technology designed specifically for Russian driving conditions, including heavy weather, such as snow and rain, poor road markings, and various road obstacles, such as humans and animals.

The C-Pilot autonomous driving system, which was unveiled in August, can be installed as an aftermarket solution. The self-driving vehicle prototype includes numerous safety features to warn the driver about road or driving conditions, including lane departure warning, traffic sign recognition, collision warning, blind-spot monitoring, and pedestrian protection, according to a company representative.

The company expects to introduce the system outside of the Russian market to manufacturers and fleets in the second quarter of 2017, and sign contracts with automotive manufacturers and Tier 1 suppliers by 2020, according to the company representative.

The system is designed to function similar to the human brain’s hippocampus, allowing the system to learn from its environment, according to a company release.

While many aspects of the C-Pilot system are similar to other systems being developed, one key difference of Cognitive Technologies’ system is that it’s chip free, meaning that it can interface with any vehicle the same way a mobile device does. It can be updated numerous times and remotely, according to the company representative.

Another advantage the Russian system has over some of the others available in other markets is that it can recognize images on the border of the image, according to a company release.

The company is also working with Russian truck manufacturer KAMAZ to test an autonomous truck on a closed track — Russian traffic laws currently prohibit autonomous vehicles on private roads, according to a Cognitive Technologies representative — and has performed simple maneuvers, such as turning, turning around, snaking motion, and others. The field tests are being carried out in poor driving conditions such as low visibility and with road obstacles.

Beyond the traditional automotive market, Cognitive Technologies has been working with agricultural farm equipment manufacturer Rostselmash and Souz Agro, the largest agricultural holdings of the Republic of Tatarstan, to develop agricultural self-driving technologies.